What does the Red Cross do?

Every day, the American Red Cross helps people in emergencies... whether it's half a million disaster victims or one sick child who needs blood. Our vital work is made possible by people like you, who learn how good it can feel to lend a helping hand. Red Cross "everyday heroes" come from all walks of life. They're all ages. Everyone has something special to offer... including you. You can be a member of the Red Cross team - providing service to your community when your neighbors need you most.

We depend on volunteers, who constitute 97 percent of our total work force, to carry on our humanitarian work.

Every year, the Red Cross is there for hurricane, earthquake, and other disaster victims - including 150 families forced from their homes by fire every day.

175,000 volunteers worked to prevent, prepare for and respond to nearly 64,000 disaster incidents last year.

More than 15 million Americans turn to the American Red Cross to learn first aid, CPR, swimming and other health and safety skills. Last year, more than 230,000 people volunteered to teach those courses.

Half the nation's blood supply - six million pints annually - is collected by more than 190,000 Red Cross volunteers.

Among our emergency services for the men and women of the armed forces is the delivery of urgent family messages - one every 22 seconds.

More than 24,000 volunteers serve as chairs, members of boards of directors, or on advisory boards for local Red Cross units - chapters, Blood Services regions, and military stations.

What do volunteers do?

We have opportunities for people at all skill levels and abilities. We are currently looking for people who will help us with the following:

  • Disaster Action Team: Provide emergency assistance to people in your community who have been forced from their homes due to fire, flood, winter storms or other disasters.
  • National Disaster Volunteers: Travel within the United States for assignments of up to three weeks. Provide emergency assistance to victims of large-scale disasters.
  • Community Education Course Instructors: Teach CPR, First Aid or other similar community courses. Instructor certification is required; ask about training requirements.
  • Blood Drive Volunteer: Greet blood donors, guide donors through the registration process, serve refreshments to donors.
  • Public Affairs/Marketing: Assist with newsletters, Web sites and other communications. Help market stories to the media; organize lists, databases, press clips; and other administrative duties that help tell the story about the work of the Red Cross.
  • Chapter Support and General Office Work: Including filing, photocopying, preparation of mailings, word processing, preparing training materials, clerical work, phone answering, assisting in Chapter Bookstores
  • Special Events Volunteer: Help out at events for fundraising and community awareness.
  • Youth Projects and internships for high school and college students are also available.
Don’t see something on the list here? Ask us! Chances are we can put your time and skills to good use.

What do you ask of volunteers?

The people we want most are those who want to help other people. If this is you, we have opportunities to help.

Skills & Training: You don’t need any prior medical, health or emergency training to volunteer. Some of our jobs do require specialized training, which we provide free of charge to volunteers. Other jobs may be seeking professionals with special skills (such as finance and accounting, meeting planning, fundraising or marketing), which we will describe when you sign up.

Time Commitment: You can volunteer as much or as little of your time as you like; however, we do ask for a minimum commitment from our volunteers in some job types, such as Disaster Assistance Teams.

Background Check: Background checking Red Cross volunteers benefits everyone. When a victim of a house fire or a hurricane needs help, they know they can trust a Red Crosser. Donors can rest assured that when they give to the Red Cross, their blood or money is protected. And when an individual makes a decision to volunteer for the Red Cross, they know they are in trusted company.

Physical Condition: We have volunteering opportunities for people of every physical ability. Some of our jobs require a minimum amount of conditioning or the ability to work in physically-challenging or stressful situations, and we will discuss this with you.

Not all volunteer opportunities are available at all chapters.

  Don’t wait another day!
There are local Red Cross chapters in every area of the state, and they all need volunteers. Click here to see a list of chapters and how to contact them.